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Valentine's Day 2013: The bizarre state of LA drugstore cards: Gel skulls, 3-D dinosaurs, hand puppets (photos)

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They say the perfect one is out there. They say you find it when you're not looking. They say you just know. They happen to be right.

We're talking about drugstore Valentine's Day cards, of course.

And with only one trip to only one Walgreens, the search is over. The perfect card has been located, and the best drugstore Valentine in Los Angeles has been named: John Deere. Wouldn't you know it, there was only one. Kismet.

While plowing down aisle four (on the hunt for seasonal Junior Mints, naturally), the green, metallic box appeared — the tall cardboard crowing praises of its contents: 30 Valentines, made of foil, covered in stickers, featuring tractors. Since nothing conveys "I love you" better than adhesives and farm equipment, they were purchased.

Which brings us to the current state of drugstore Valentine cards and the school-room exchange tradition that appears to have evolved somewhat since our last check-in. On the same shelf as my beloved tractor-foils were a new breed of mixed messages being sent via mixed media.

PHOTOS: The current state of drugstore Valentine Cards, slideshow above

The expected array of new shows, old movies, sports, music, superheroes, princesses, flowers, and puppies, were all there. But now they're competing with psychedelia, tropical hand-pupppet tattoos, secret admirer Mad Libs, Hello Kitty glitter faces, 3-D dinosaurs, sticky clings, cards that turn into paper planes, cards that fold into fortune tellers, cards that morph into origami frogs and cards that are really just candy in disguise.

When did hologram wolves and "sticky skulls" replace talking sandwiches and Barbie hearts? What are your favorite Valentine cards? Add a comment below.

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